Posts Tagged With "Adult, Middle-Aged (40-55)"
Nottingham and Sherwood Forest
Nottingham, England is a beautiful "village" of around 300,000 people in the center of England. Originally a University town, Nottingham is dotted with both old and new architecture. The Sherrif of Nottingham, Robin Hood, this was once their haunts, and the accent of the native Nottingham resident is like a bird singing a song, so beautiful. My hosts, Don and Sarah Camilleri have an amazing flat right in the heart of Nottingham. Don, an engineer by trade is introducing me to what I believe will be a strong part of the Wild River Spa concept. Don is originally from the small island of Malta (close to Sicily) and arriving on a Sunday night meant I was treated to his Sunday Maltese dinner- chicken, tomato pastry, and of course wine.
Don, besides being a fabulous cook, is the design and mastermind behind a concept that was adopted from Holland, Centre Parcs. Center Parcs is day break and holiday village, started in dense woodlands creating an ecosystem with lakes, streams, and sustainably built cabins/houses, treehouses, and a village center complete with resturants, swimming facilities, stores, hiking, biking, playgrounds, sailing, golf, and the spa- Aqua Sana.
Sherwood Forest is just North of Nottingham, the land of Robin Hood. Twenty five years ago Don walked through Sherwood's dense woodlands, with not much ecosystem, water, or wildlife. Now the forest is teeming with deer and small animals. There is a lake for sailing, kayaking, and streams that are fishable. No cars are allowed in the village- only bikes and walking, so for the full week that guests are in the village, their car stays parked outside and the beauty of the forest is not scarred by the sounds of cars, and thus is very safe and promotes activity. There is an entire sporting facility, two bowling alleys, the waterpark with slides and a moving river. Center Parcs is teaming with families, (4000 people per week are staying in the village), and offers a holiday vacation like no other.
In the center of Centre Parcs is Aqua Sana- a community spa that Don has created from the ground up. Adopted from the Austrian concept, the Aqua Sana Spa is tailored for everyone (over age 16), and sends the goer through different healing rooms of water, heat, cold, and relaxation, using nature as a central theme. The list of experience rooms are as follows: Aqua Meditation Room, Finish Sauna, Greek Herbal Bath, Ice Fountain, Indian Blossom Steam room, Japanese Salt Steam Room, Japanese Zen Garden, Laconium, Multi-sensory Showers, Outdoor Heated Spa Pool, Reflexology Foot Baths, Tepidarium, Turkish Hamman, Tyrolean Garden, Tyrolean Sauna, and Water Beds.
With all those choices, there is a well mapped out routine that each visitor does, travels from cooler to hotter rooms, resting, hydrating, showering and swimming along the way. It takes about 3 hours to do the entire facility as prescribed. There are also ample wellness treatments to chose from: massages to mud wraps, reflexology to ear candles. With a beautiful cafe serving Italian fare, prossecco, and of course afternoon tea and cakes, Aqua Sana is a place to spend an entire day relaxing and rejuvenating, and is affordable, non pretenscious, and the staff is happy and helpful. After doing the 3 hour ritual of rooms, meditation garden, then a wonderful stone massage and facial I felt lighter, calmer, and my jet lag started to lift.
One big difference from the States is that Aqua Sana is co-ed. The place is full of couples, young and old, enjoying their afternoon together soaking in the waters, detoxing in the saunas, and relaxing outside in the beauty of nature. As I'll come to see on my travels deeper in Europe, the couples concept (and the inclusion of children) becomes an integral part of the healing experience. Community and membership spas are a wonderful service, they provide a healthy and relaxing activity for the ever increasing stress disease, but can this work in the States where the spa culture is not yet developed? Its a question I will continue to ponder as I move through this trip.
Center Parcs was a wonderful first introduction to the world of European spa, thanks to Don and Sarah Camilleri, such amazing hosts and now friends!
Read more about Center Parcs here.
And to see more pictures of my trip- like our Facebook page!
Best in Health,
*Next stop, the French countryside
After a long week of work in the wide open spaces of Montana, not only 15 hours later, I find myself eating a croissant and drinking cappuccino in the Charles De Gaul Paris International Airport, Paris. Today (well, yesterday) is the beginning of my three week European Wellness Adventure. It all started with my trip to Aspen, as my partners and I begin to roll out the Wild River Lodge and Wellness Spa in Washington. (Read my last blog to learn more about this) Being invited to visit Britain, Scotland, France, and Austria to explore the oldest and newest therapies using the age old healing of water, mud, sound, light, and color, as well as share my knowledge about NCR and Naturopathic Medicine, makes this not just a work trip, but a trip of a lifetime!
Russia: The beginning of my medical wellness journey.
I have only been to Europe once, on my way home from Russia where I did an internship in a sanatorium on the Black Sea for a summer. There we witnessed entire sanitoriums run with only mud, water, sun, massage, electrical, heat, and needle therapies prescribed by doctors from all over Russia. In the States we call this "alternative", but in many parts of the world, that is REAL medicine. It's cheaper, more sustainable, low force, and improves quality of life, not just relieving symptoms, and it's the basis of our Naturopathic Principles. And, it's cheaper than expensive drugs and surgery.
EUROPE: Time to learn and learn some more
With our current project we are looking to create a welllness center unlike anything in Washington, and it's now my job to figure out what it's going to entail, how big, what, etc etc. It's a big job but after months of planning, I am leaving my layover at Paris for my first destination, Nottingham, Great Britain.
There lives Sarah Camilleri, the editor and publisher of European Spa Magazine (europeanspamagazine.com) who has so graciously invited me to spend my first four days with her exploring central UK and the wellness retreats and treatments it has to offer.
I will then be traveling to middle France to visit a friends amazing countryside chateau, Paris, and then my wellness destination of Austria. There I have been invited for a week of touring the most unbelievable wellness facilities in the world. From Salzburg I will be traveling back to Scotland to meet with another friend that I met in Aspen who is going to tour me around to some spas and the sights, and mostly to consult with him and his wife regarding NCR and their youngest daughter. Then back to England, a trip to London and high tea and a possible chance to get a write up regarding NCR and our project in European Spa Magazine. It will then be time to fly back over the pond to Miami to witness the launch of GFC's (my brokerage company) new product- Youth H20 (youthh2o.com).
I can say that after 5 hours of driving, 2 hours of waiting, and 16 hours of flying, I'm waiting for the "crash", but the fact that yesterday I was driving through the great plains of Montana, and today I flew over the Eiffel Tower, my excitement is hard to hold back. Stay tuned each day for an updates, pictures, and videos, it's bound to get interesting! Now I have to finish the last episode of Dontown Abbey before the plane lands....
Dr Hillary :)
“What you eat today, walks and talks tomorrow.”
-Babe the Pig
This is from the movie "Babe" my daughters favorite movie at the current time, and even though you could interpret it a number of different ways, there is no doubt that what you eat controls each and every cell in your body. Since eating is something we all do, it seems like a good idea to put the conversation forward: Are your genetics influenced by the foods you eat, and even more importantly, do you have the power to control how your genes are turned on or off through nutrition?
The answer is: YES. The new future of medicine is known as Epigenetics- looking at how the genetic code is affected by environmental influences, and how we have the real ability to turn wellness or illness genes on or off through the foods we chose to put in our bodies. If you were to hear someone say, "it's all in my genes" it's true, but what you don't hear people say is, "but I have the power to control them." Now I'm not talking about hair color, eye color, skin color etc, these things are in the genetic code and make up your physical appearance. But lets say someone is meant to be 6 foot 5, but they were fed a horrible diet as a child- malnourished and under exercised. It's likely they wouldn't make it to that height due to the genetic code being altered by deficiency states.
It's the same with many of today's epidemic diseases in the modern world like heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and obesity. In a family where both parents have diabetes type 2, some will argue there is a genetic link for their child to get diabetes type 2 when they are older. In truth, if the child was fed a healthy diet devoid of simple carbohydrates and bad fats, and full of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins (with adequate exercise) it is very unlikely that this grown adult will get diabetes, for if the gene existed, it wouldn't be turned on. However in today's world we see children getting type 2 diabetes, a sure sign that if we continue to eat (and stay sedentary) the way we do, gene destruction will happen at an alarming rate.
The bright side to all this is that you have the power over what you put in your body and even though you don't know every "bad" gene in your body, you do have the say in what your genes can do. Many will disagree with me here, but I have seen all to many times that when people improve their nutritional status, their bodies become efficient, leaner, and free of disease, while their minds are calmed and bright. Even those who are what we considered "diseased, can benefit from a clean whole foods diet, sometimes even reversing their conditions and/or optimizing their current states. Take this month to educate yourself and others about the importance of healthy food, and remember you aren't helpless to your genes.